The CFA charter is one of the most prestigious credentials available to those who work in the financial sector. The credential, offered by the CFA Institute, commands the respect of all employers within the financial sector and companies compete for employees who have successfully obtained their CFA charter. The CFA charter can also be one of the most intimidating qualifications to obtain. There are however training institutions that offer top quality CFA training.
The Complete CFA Level I – 2014 curriculum course, offered by Fitch Learning, covers the 4 main areas of the CFA level 1 syllabus. Fitch Learning, a global training company with ties to the top investment banks and fund managers, offers financial services training in London, Dubai, Singapore and New York. They offer top quality, innovative CFA training. The course includes over 74 hours of content designed to break down the intimidating CFA syllabus into small digestible lectures.
The CFA Certification
The CFA course is divided into three levels. To obtain the charter, candidates must pass all three consecutive levels of the course.
The level 1 examination consists of two one hour examinations that includes 240 multiple choice questions based on the Level 1 Learning Outcomes Statements as required by the CFA Institute. Each multiple choice question contains 3 choices, one of which is correct.
The CFA Institute offers the level 1 exam twice a year at their test centers located around the globe. The exams are generally held in June and December and both examinations are taken on the same day. The CFA Institute recommends that students wanting to take the exam spend at least 300 hours preparing for each level.
To take the exam, a candidate must be enrolled as a CFA candidate and register for the exam. Early registrations are often offered at a discount rate, whereas late enrolments pay full price for the exam. When the candidate enrolls with the CFA Institute, the candidate is given access to the curriculum books which should be downloaded as soon as possible and further training or courses are highly recommended to ensure the candidate is prepared for the exam.
Certain positions require the candidate to possess a CFA charter. Employers recognize that candidates or potential employees who hold the charter possess the necessary skills needed to succeed in the financial services industry. Obtaining a CFA certification requires a candidate to be flexible, hardworking and persistent.
Syllabus Topics Covered in the CFA Level 1 Syllabus
The CFA Level 1 Syllabus can be broadly divided into the following topic areas:
· Ethics and Professional Standards
· Financial Reporting and Analysis
· Quantitative Methods
· Fixed Income and Economics
CFA Level 1 Syllabus: Ethics and Professional Standards
Commonly referred to as the “Ethics” module, this module makes up fifteen percent of the level 1 CFA exam. The Ethics module often proves challenging to CFA candidates. It covers sections on Professional Standards of Practice and ethical practice.
The CFA – CFA Level I Ethics Module offers over 50 lectures covering the CFA ethics module. Topics covered in the course include Professionalism, Integrity of Capital Markets, Duties to Clients, Duties to Employers, Investment Analysis, Recommendations, Actions, Responsibilities as a CFA Institute Member or CFA Candidate and GIPS. The course videos and study materials are designed for commerce graduates, MBA’s, professionals and engineers. Each lecture contains key concept discussions and practice questions as well as tips and tricks to prepare you for the exam.
CFA Level 1 Syllabus: Financial Reporting and Analysis
Popularly known as the “Accounting” module, the Financial and Reporting Analysis module accounts for twenty percent of the marks in the CFA Level 1 exam. Financial reporting requires a solid foundation in accounting techniques. A strong understanding of income statements, balance sheets, current assets statements, long term assets, long term liabilities, cash flow statements and the various financial analysis techniques is therefore essential.
The CFA – CFA Level 1 Accounting Course offers CFA candidates a solid foundation in the accounting concepts required by the CFA certification. One hundred and twenty two lectures ensure that CFA candidates are prepared for the accounting section of the exam and training includes training on Financial Statements (Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Cash Flows), Ratio Analysis and Income Tax.
CFA Level 1 Syllabus: Quantitative Methods
The Quantitative Methods module accounts for twelve percent of the marks in the level 1 CFA exam. Quantitative methods include the calculation of the time value of money, correlation and regression analysis, probability distributions and descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, sampling and estimation, time series analysis and technical analysis. The topics covered in this module require a firm grasp and understanding of mathematics and statistics.
The CFA Level I Foundation Course: Introduction to Quants was designed for CFA candidates who are concerned about the level of mathematics required by the charter. The course offers over 5 hours of video content to ensure that all CFA candidates are taught the mathematics required for this module.
Fixed Income and Economics
The Fixed Income module accounts for twelve percent of the CFA exam and the Economics module accounts for ten percent of the exam. These modules require CFA candidates to have level 1 knowledge of economics as well as fixed income and equity.
The CFA Level 1 Economics course covers microeconomics, macroeconomics and economics in the global context and eight hours of content is designed to help level 1 CFA candidates to understand the topics covered in sufficient detail for the level 1 exam. The CFA Level I Workshop 4: Fixed Income and Equity offers a workshop designed to prepare the CFA candidates for the more complex exam-style questions on fixed income and equity.
Passing the CFA Level 1 Exam
Preparation and hard work is the key to passing the CFA level 1 exam. The CFA® Level I course is designed to prepare you for the level 1 CFA certification exam. The course covers ethical and professional standards, quantitative methods, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, equity investments, fixed income, derivatives, alternative investments and portfolio management. The course contains over 479 lectures as well as mock tests and comprehensive reading and study material to ensure that you are ready for the level 1 CFA examination.